As a partnership, we talk about everything. This spills over into our romantic life as well as our professional life, and our family life, and our friendship. It was not long into our relationship that we realized we would be happiest spending all of our days together. We knew that marriage, to each other, was in our future, from quite early on.
As a feminist, I would often (seriously and jokingly) assert myself and my autonomy in our relationship, just as in other areas of my life. Often, this would be by making sure Michael knew that I could (and would) flip patriarchal traditions upside down and propose to him. And every time, he would tell me, “Yes, and I love you for that. But I would truly love it if you left that tradition for me to fulfill.” So, out of my respect for him, I did.
If you interact with either of us on social media, particularly Instagram, you are aware of how Michael and I choose to publicly express our affection for each other. In the days following our engagement, we each wrote and posted the following reactions.
Michael, “Last night while the ferries passed at our favorite lighthouse I asked my best friend to embark on a new adventure with me. It was far too dark to see and I misplaced nearly everything I had wanted to say, but it was perfect in the odd, jumbled, simple way that we are. She has the widest heart and the most magical curls, and I am the luckiest to have stumbled across an adventurer so sweet. Here’s to love, my friends — to growing rather than aging, to choosing a partner over an accessory, and to finding love and peace within ourselves first and leaving room for someone lovely to stand equal.”
Larissa, “On Monday night, my best friend/favorite human/roommate and I went out for soup and popovers and chamomile tea after a very long day apart. By 9:30 p.m. we had our backs up against our favorite lighthouse and we were watching the last ferries of the day cross Vineyard Sound. By 10:30 p.m. a long-running joke between us had become very real — I laughed and said unladylike things as he formally, officially proposed marriage. And while nothing has really changed, and nothing really feels different, we are just one bit more committed to a future that is us, and it makes me feel magical and elated.”
Two other components to the story of our engagement concern family members recently passed and dearly missed.
The first is the manner by which Michael shared his intentions with my family. As I already mentioned, we consider ourselves fairly modern (and extremely feminist), but we still understand the weight of tradition and the meaning it carries. Particularly in building bridges between families and people, one tradition that Michael followed was in asking for my parents’ blessing.
thirty-five years ago my soon-to-be father-in-law went to ask for his girlfriend’s father’s blessing in marriage. the ridiculous, quick-witted man that he was, he replied “of course, but first you must give me two chickens, a camel, and a goat.” so thirty-five years ago, my soon-to-be father-in-law found four little figurines and wrapped them up. the two married, and went on to have two daughters, the first of which I’ve fallen deeply and deeply for. I’m far from the most traditional man, but two weeks past I went to humbly ask for her father’s blessing in marriage. now she, obviously, is not something to be traded — and even still, there would not be enough gifts in the world to match how lovely and magical she is — but I brought with me these four carved wooden animals so that he might understand just how vastly I love his daughter. and, he did. and someday, perhaps, some young heart shall bring the same to me. — plymouth, ma #love #marriage #engagement #proposal #girlfriend #partner #bestfriend #capecod #massachusetts #newengland
The second component is the selection and construction of my engagement ring. A wonderful artist and jeweler in Provincetown, Massachusetts, made the ring with which Michael proposed. But, most special to me is the stone in the setting, which once sat in another ring, worn by Michael’s mother.
If you have followed any of our work, you will know that we finished production on a feature-length documentary following Michael’s grieving process after the death of his mother. Lynn DuBois has been a very important figure in my life since I first became friends with her son three years ago. That Michael could share one piece of her wedding ring with me, just as he shares them with his siblings, is an amazing privilege.
This was originally written in October of 2016.